I have been determined to grab drinks with Rob and Courtney for a while now, and on Friday we were finally all free and ready to party. I thought we would hit up some bars, but then Courtney suggested something even better. Cuz she kicks ass is why:

There’s this guy in Illinois who collects and restores pinball machines. Every now and then, he throws a BYOB party where you pay a cover charge at the door and ALL THE MACHINES ARE ON FREE PLAY. I was pretty impartial to pinball before this – I hadn’t played in at least a decade – but I have been converted.

I rode up there with Rob, Ann and Nighthawk. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to this part of Illinois before because we saw the Shell Oil Refinery from the highway and I was terrified.

The refinery looks like that place Richard Pryor worked at in Superman III. Plus: OPEN FLAMES shooting out of gigantic pillars and smoke billowing everywhere. If Mordor and the actual Earth from The Matrix had a baby, this place would be it.

“It looks like Hell. The real Hell,” I said. “Thank god we’re not going there.”

Close: it was across the street.

Someone joked that the place might be filled with mutants from all the smoke, and I laughed a lot. We had no idea what to expect. But as it turns out, across the street from Hell is Pinball Heaven.

Rob is really into pinball and handled my ignorance with a lot of patience. (“How do you flip the flippies?” “Are you serious?”)

We met up with Courtney, Ben, Maysam and Lindsey (the cutest couple in the world), and had a blast playing games like The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Elvis, The Simpsons, Playboy, and so on and so on. He had about 50 games total.

The place is called CP Pinball, and I will definitely come back with Joe and Ron in tow. The owner seemed really nice. I like people who work hard to preserve an art that’s almost extinct.

My personal favorites were Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Addam’s Family and a carnival-themed one where you have to get the ball into a ferris wheel. I was amazing at that one… and only that one.


In case you are wondering, Badass Bitch Boot Camp lasted 3.5 days before a tragic detour involving gyros and a Melrose Place marathon. I’m going to try again this week, only much like the work week, Badass Bitch Boot Camp starts on Monday. We’ll see how it goes.


1 Comment

Filed under Adventures, Picture Pages

One response to “Ballin’

  1. Rocket Queen

    Huh. Well. Yeah, I can definitely say that CP Pinball was a WAY better choice than hanging out at the bar with me, though I don’t envy your visit to Hell, AKA what I think is probably Granite City. And if it IS Granite City, I assure you that mutants DO exist. I used to work with a girl who lived right by the refinery and another Granite City-native-but-guy-who-lived-far-enough-away-from-the-pillars-o’-Hell used to say she looked like a trash can.

    And she totally did.

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